Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN, Jan. 19 (MNA) — Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has said that Ayatollah Ali Sistani has played an important role in helping to establish security in Iraq, Al-Hayat newspaper said on its website on Friday.
“Ayatollah Sistani is an important element in preventing a civil war,” Talabani told the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper.
On a previous proposal by the U.S. to hold dialogue with Iran to secure Iraq, Talabani said Iran and the United States were going to hold talks on Iraq but the negotiations were canceled both the times.
Talabani said the first time Iranians asked the negotiations to be held without the knowledge of the public media, but the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice disclosed the agreement in the Congress, thus the Iranian officials aborted the talks.
After attempts by Iraq, a second round of negotiations were planned but the U.S. officials proposed to postpone the talks until the formation of the Iraqi government, he explained, adding however the “Iranian brothers” were offended and called it a “killing of time” and canceled the negotiation.
“We do not want Iran-U.S. relations to turn into a conflict in the Iraqi soil,” Talabani stated.
In fact Iraq has tried to establish compromise between the two states so that they act collectively to bring peace and stability to the country, he said. RMN/MS END MNA